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New Years Resolution

Tony Robbins Explains Why He Doesn’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

Photos: Courtesy of Milla Kuhto

In a Q&A, the number one Life & Business Strategist, number one New York Times Best-Selling Author, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist explains why resolutions don’t always work, and outlines a better way to get a fresh start in the new year.

Throughout this past year, people have faced many challenges and obstacles that they have never faced before, how can people look to the New Year for a fresh start and new state of mind?

This year has been tough. Everyone was brought to their knees by COVID-19 and the impact of the lockdowns, me included.

I’m personally not one for New Year’s resolutions. The statistical follow through on people sticking to their resolutions is very low. But I am all for people making radical changes in their psychology that have a ripple effect on their lives and the lives of others for years to come.

The thing is, 2021 is going to be vastly different than 2020. It may be better or it may be worse. The key here is external conditions. We can’t place our happiness in external conditions. Is the COVID-19 vaccine going to be effective? Is it going to make us grow two heads? Is your political party going to be able to accomplish what you want? Is the economy going to suffer or flourish? You and I both know so much of life is outside of our control. When our happiness is circumstantial, we set ourselves up for failure.

So what do I offer someone who is looking for a new mindset in 2021? Master the internal world. There are two worlds, the external, which is vastly beyond our control, and the internal, our own world. That is one we can control. Our emotions, our thoughts, all of those are within our control.

Master the internal world and no matter what life throws at you, your happiness won’t be ruled by external happenings.

What are your main tips for a good mindset and how people can best manage and set their goals?

A lot of people have great ideas but they aren’t quite sure how to see those dreams to fruition.

Where focus goes, energy flows. Often after the excitement of something new wears off, people start to lose momentum. Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in six months.

I teach something called the 3 Pillars for true, sustainable success:

Pillar One: Get focused – get clear about what you really want and WHY you want it. Make it clear and compelling that you are excited about moving forward.

Pillar Two: Get the best strategies, mentor(s), tools, and coaching. Everyone needs a coach, no matter what level you are at. I know from experience. All of the top athletes, performers, investors, entrepreneurs, they all have amazing coaches in their lives that bring out the very best in them. And I’ve had the pleasure of coaching many of them like Conor McGregor, Serena Williams, and Paul Tudor Jones.

Pillar Three: This is the most important one – unlock & unleash, eliminate inner conflicts. This includes your beliefs about how it should be. These inner conflicts shut off the power of pillar 1 & 2.

How can people personally create goals to have financial security and best manage their money?

A strategy is essential to ensuring success when it comes to your financial decisions. Additionally there are powerful tools to combat the fear and uncertainty we feel around our finances. I like to use the Four Tools of Investing as a compass for smart investing. I break down each rule and what it means for financial success in The Path, but I’d like to share a short summary with you today:

Rule #1:  Have a Clearly Defined Plan – Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Before you invest a single dollar, you must have a plan. It can be very straightforward but will serve as the north star for your journey. People have different objectives e.g., retiring at a reasonable age or funding a favorite charity or putting grandchildren through college. Financial independence is different from retirement. It means that as of today, you could quit your job, live the lifestyle you want, and never have to work for the rest of your life.  The goal of financial independence is almost universal, so start with the path that leads to it. I go into this in detail in the book.

Rule #2:  Build a Portfolio That Aligns with Your Goal

My co-author of the book The Path, Peter Mallouk, uses the analogy of buying a car and how needs changed based on stage of life. Most investors give far less thought to their long-term investments. For example, an average investor asking if today is a good time to buy Apple stock vs. the questions sophisticated investors would ask.

Rule #3:  Revisit the Plan

Revisit your financial plan and projections once a year or whenever you undergo a significant life change (e.g., marriage, parenthood, significant change in income). During your review, you may notice that your net worth has changed because your portfolio performed better or worse than expected over the previous year.

Rule #4:  The Ultimate Rule:  Don’t Mess it Up!

Once you have your portfolio in place, stay disciplined.  Follow the pattern of investment decisions outlined in this chapter or work with an advisor who understands, accepts and invests with these principles.

How can people invest in their life through finances and investments?

I’ll answer your question with a question. What is money? Technically it’s little pieces of green paper. But why is it so damn important to people? It’s important because money can equal things like stability, security, opportunity, adventure, variety, and freedom. It’s how money makes us feel, that makes us love it so much.

In order to add value to your life, when thinking of your investments and financial choices, don’t think about the dollar amount they’ll equal. Think about the end result of what the dollar amount will mean. Does it mean supporting a loved one who would otherwise be down on their luck? Does it mean financial freedom that allows you to spend as much time as you want with your kids? Does it mean opening doors to expand your entrepreneurial passion? Maybe it’s being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, for as long as you want. Just total joy 24/7.

Identify the meaning behind your financial dreams, set clear goals, and the value-add on your life will show up time and time again.

In the New Year going into 2021, what is your biggest piece of advice for people looking to the future and taking control of their lives?

What do they say? A person without purpose will perish. To find your purpose, you need to find something that you live for. When there’s something so deep inside of you that needs to be expressed, that hunger, that you HAVE to find a way.

When there’s enough hunger and drive that’s consistent enough to push through any obstacle you can imagine—you’ll know.  

Most people can find things they’re passionate about, but the problem is people think their purpose has to be this GIANT thing to change the entire world, all humans need to be impacted, etc.

And sometimes your purpose can be just something simple and beautiful, like raising your children to be totally alive and filled with love and joy – and for you to be that example and the same.

If you can see that there are multiple purposes in my life, and they all might serve different things.

What I find is that when I find something that I’m passionate about that’s larger than myself, that’s when you’re going to have the kind of drive, power, energy, excitement, persistence and creativity that’s going to cause you to succeed on a larger scale.

Don’t be a victim of circumstances. You are the creator of your life. Take life by the horns, get out there, adapt, pivot, find your purpose. You have so much more power than you realize.

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